REVIEW – I’ve used quite a few tents in my days, from tiny to huge and cheap to mid-range/name brand. In fact, some of my earliest memories of camping are of my father connecting separated pole segments for a big canvas tent that was leaky and heavy and took nearly an hour to set up (probably Army surplus or something). The Hiker Garden 10 person tent claims to be large, easy to set up, and all-weather capable. I set it up and tested it out on both warm sunny days and windy rainy days and overall I was impressed, though it’s hard to judge long-term reliability from a short review period.
What is it?
The Hiker Garden 10 person tent is a fairly standard large camping tent. It has room for up to 3 inflatable queen mattresses or 10 standard sleeping bags. It also includes a waterproof rainfly covering that you can take off for warm summer dry camping.
What’s in the box?
- Tent body
- Rain fly
- 5 x poles (4 body and one rain fly)
- 18 metal stakes
- 1 room divider curtain
- 1 internal storage bag
- 1 carry bag
- Materials: 185T Polyester
- Water resistance rating: PU1000mm
- Dimensions: 168 wide x 132 deep and 74 in. tall in the center (427 wide x 335 deep x 188 cm tall)
- Weight including bag: 20.5 lbs (9.3 kg)
- Sleeping capacity: 10 standard sleeping bags or 3 queen-sized air mattresses
- Poles: Fiberglass
- Packed bag dimensions: 25.2 x 8.7 x 8.7 in (64 x 22 x 22 cm)
Design and features
The Hiker Garden 10 person tent is similar to most of the other tents I’ve used in the past. It has a large main door and 3 screen windows on the other 3 walls.
The tent poles have to be fed through a few feet of the tent body itself, and then these quick clips are used for the rest of the build.
Next to the front door is a cord hole, which is sealed with velcro to prevent bugs from entering the tent. Even with a cord fed through it the velcro keeps a tight seal and I didn’t have any bug issues despite many being present during testing.
The side and back windows are fairly small, but worked as expected. They can be closed for privacy or opened to allow airflow and visibility. The opaque flap can be rolled up and held in place with a handy loop, this system is also present for the front door.
I didn’t have 3 queen mattresses to test with (or 10 sleeping bags), but our one large queen mattress looks small inside the spacious tent. There’s more room inside than any previous tent I’ve used. At the center I can nearly stand up straight, but not quite (I’m 6′ 4″). Most people would be fine standing inside without needing to hunch over.
Our dog was hesitant at first, but eventually warmed up to the tent. Also shown above is the main door rolled up and tucked away.
This is a view of the roof of the tent from the inside (with the rainfly over top). If you were summer camping you’d have a decent view of the stars and tons of airflow with the rainfly removed. Temps got down into the 40s during testing at night, and the interior was not drafty with everything sealed up, it seems like a good tent for warm and cold weather camping.
The materials and zippers all seemed adequate. I couldn’t find any loose seams and the zippers worked well (I’ve used better, but they never caught the tent material and jammed, which is just the worst).
There’s a pair of handy gear pockets (each subdivided into 2 compartments) on opposite sides of the tent. Our previous tent also has a “loft” area to store gear, and I wish this one also had it. The loft is perfect for tossing jackets and LED lights for tent illumination. The Hiker Garden 10 person tent does have clips on the roof interior for the room divider, and these double as night light hanging points.
Each corner of the tent exterior has metal pole attachment pins, and/or metal grommets for stakes to secure the tent.
Installation and setup
Hiker Garden advertises “9 minute setup with 2 builders”. It took me about 30 minutes alone, and would be much faster the second time since I made some mistakes while building (for example putting on the rain fly backward and not staking the tent first).
The tent held up to 20 mph winds and light rain with no issues at all. I normally put a tarp underneath tents to prevent ground moisture from seeping into the tent, but even without it, I didn’t have any issues with water ingress. With the rainfly and stakes in place, it was quite rigid in light to medium winds. Having camped in heavy winds, I know tent rigidity is important, and this one seems like it would do pretty well in most conditions.
What I like
- Sturdy-ish build (seems sturdy but time will tell)
- Spacious interior
- Wind resistant
What I’d change
- Larger rain fly – with the wind the fly might struggle to cover all windows (though the windows seem pretty protected when zipped up)
- Ceiling net storage – on other tents I love being able to toss small things and a light up into the netting at the top
Sleeping in this tent with the airbed was without a doubt the most comfortable “camping” experience I’ve had so far. I think the Hiker Garden 10 person tent is a pretty great option for car camping, and it’s miles better than my first cheap tent (which was leaky, fell over flat in any wind, and constantly had stuck zippers). This tent is not the lightest at ~20 pounds, but it’s not too heavy for the amount of space it offers either. I feel like Hiker Garden has struck a good balance with interior space, weather resistance, and price point (at least their “on sale price”), and look forward to many outings in the future with it.